Since birth, we’ve been told what’s “good” and what’s “bad” for us when it comes to diets, nutrition and living healthy lifestyles. We learn these lessons from our families and pass the knowledge on to our friends and children.
Stop me if you’ve heard these lines before:
“Eat your veggies.”
“You can’t have ice cream.”
“Don’t stick that fork in the outlet!”
“Put your seatbelt on.”
“Red meat is bad for your heart.”
“You know egg whites are healthier, right?”
Our upbringing has taught us to label which foods are “good” and which foods are “bad”. This is a point a past mentor of mine, Martin Rooney, likes to make in his conferences.
While standing in front of a class, he’ll ask the participants to raise their hand if they agree with any of the following questions:
“Is broccoli good for you?” (All hands go up.)
“Is soda good for you?” (Every hand drops.)
“Are fruits good for you?” (All hands rise again.)
“What about candy?” (All hands drop again.)
Martin then finishes by saying, “We all know what we’re ‘supposed’ to do, but we choose whether or not to do it.”
In short, we’ve been taught our whole lives what’s “good” or “bad” for us, but how often do we question what really are healthy lifestyles?
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I wasn’t raised to be health-conscious. As a kid, I often ate fried foods and microwaved TV dinners, never worried about drinking water, and indulged in fast food and even adult-size meals.
Growing up, I never understood nutrition or what healthy lifestyles are. Even in the military, no doctor ever told me about the importance of nutrition and its effects on the body. You’re only ever told where, when, what, and how to eat. You may even get a delicious Meal Ready to Eat (MRE) in the field, which is loaded with over 2000 calories!
Only after I started reading about nutrition did I start experimenting with food. When I moved to Cancun, I read a book about all the supposed benefits of the Paleo Diet. I cut carbs and ate more high-protein foods, nuts, and fruits. I maintained that diet for about a year, just to see what would happen. And guess what: I noticed more negative effects than positive ones!
By learning more about nutrition, I realized there’s no way you can cut out a full macronutrient and expect to be a completely type of healthy lifestyles, no matter what the diet “gurus” tell you.
There are three macronutrients everyone needs: carbs, fats, and proteins.
Paleo is just the tip of the iceberg. There are over a hundred “diets” out there right now, and they all insist you need to remove at least one food from your diet to achieve results and live a healthy lifestyles.
Well, I’m here to call nonsense on all that! It’s easy and convenient to blame food for low health and lack of fitness, but it’s just not that simple.
Sugar is another popular “villain” in health debates. If you can’t blame sugar, you can blame carbs for turning into sugar, then substitute them with real sugar, which is even worse!
At some point, we have to acknowledge this downhill “blame game” slope and start taking responsibility for our health. We’re all adults, right? So we have to make adult decisions.
The truth is that diets tend to add stress to our busy lives, which only leads to binge eating, the opposite of what those diets are meant to achieve.
I’m not saying you can eat all the candy bars you want and still be a completely healthy lifestyles. We all know that’s not true. What I am saying is that as adults, it’s up to us to educate ourselves on nutrition and hold ourselves accountable for our decisions.
We all know what we “should” eat, and it’s not just chicken and broccoli. We know what to eat more or less of. And we know that we can’t just eat well without exercising and still expect to be healthy.
Life’s a balancing act, so stop making it more difficult than it needs to be. Go ahead and indulge in that drink out with your friends, that pasta at dinner, or that popcorn and candy at the movies. You only get one life, so enjoy it!
There will always be a “villain” out to sabotage your health if you make one. Don’t let all the diet fear mongering affect your life. Find a balance in your diet, your exercise, and your perspective on life. So long as you free yourself from restraints and find a system that works for you, you can achieve your goals!
Still not sure what you should or shouldn’t eat? Start Here and then let’s chat! I’m always happy to help!
Do you follow any “fad diets” of live a healthy lifestyles? How have they worked out for you? Share your experience in the comments below, and be sure to share this article with your friends! Friends don’t let friends follow bad diets!